Live Nation and AEG Presents, two of today’s foremost concert and music festival promoters, have partnered with leading talent agencies to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Representatives from the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Paradigm Talent Agency, United Talent Agency (UTA), and William Morris Endeavor (WME) have also joined the task force. Today, the group released a joint statement recommending that music festivals and concerts be postponed at least through March’s end, at which point the situation can be evaluated based upon the recommendations of health professionals.
Live Nation and AEG took safety-minded steps even before the task force’s statement was issued. All Live Nation events have been postponed indefinitely, and on Monday, AEG made the undoubtedly difficult decision to push Coachella and Stagecoach back to late October. Equally as significant, state and federal governments from California to Australia have instituted bans on mass gatherings.
Earlier today, President Trump declared a national emergency, thereby freeing up an additional $50 billion to respond to the coronavirus crisis.
It was also indicated in his press conference that approximately 1.4 million COVID-19 test kits will be deployed in the coming week, and that around five million test kits will become available throughout the next month.
Lastly, President Trump suspended interest on federal student loans and eased hospitals’ admission and treatment policies. The latter is part of an ongoing effort from Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar.
Over 1,700 Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and while the infection’s domestic spread is being treated seriously, some international health professionals have shifted their attention to the crisis in Europe. This afternoon, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Europe has now become the epicenter of the pandemic.”
Italy, which has been placed under lockdown, reported 250 new COVID-19 deaths overnight. And with over 17,500 coronavirus diagnoses, Italy is the hardest-hit nation besides China, where the infection originated from. Spain has confirmed approximately 4,300 COVID-19 cases, and France and Germany have each identified about 3,600 coronavirus sufferers.
AEG is a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation, which is privately owned. However, Live Nation’s stock, traded under the symbol LYV, rebounded by nearly 20 percent today, following major investments from CEO Michael Rapino and executives.